We asked, Birmingham Fan and webmaster Chris.T..if he would write a piece on Chris Hughton and his impact on The Blues last season. We would like to thank him for be willing to undertake this, especially so soon after losing their manager to us. I am not sure I could have written anything about Lambert a couple of days after he left, that would have been printable.
Although I am not at all surprised that Chris Hughton has left Birmingham City, I am particularly saddened by it as I feel if all was well at the football club, Hughton would be plotting a real assault on promotion next season after just missing out at the end of an epic campaign for Blues last term.
My personal expectations were not very high at all last summer and I felt that whoever came in would be performing miracles to guide us away from a season long relegation fight.
Having lost pretty much our entire Premier League squad and following the resignation of Alex McLeish, spirits were very low at St Andrew’s and only the most optimistic Birmingham City fan would have dared think we’d be challenging for promotion last season.
Although I had heard and read a lot of good things about Hughton and thought he had been harshly treated by Newcastle, I was just not convinced he was going to be able to keep the sinking ship of Birmingham City afloat, nevermind steer her to within spitting distance of the Premier League.
Hughton was forced to assemble a squad of players consisting of many free transfers and loanees, he would also have to galvanise the team and create an understanding in a very short amount of time.
Because of this, the season got off to a predictably patchy start with Blues not being able to put any kind of run together. That was until 29th September when a 2-1 away win over NK Maribor in the Europa League was followed by Chris Hughton’s team putting a run of six back to back wins together.
The football Blues were playing was also very entertaining and the season saw us put six past Millwall, chalk up four against Leeds and Sheffield Utd as well as scoring three against a number of other teams. Birmingham City fans, used to the sterile football of Steve Bruce and Alex McLeish were lapping it up.
The Europa League games were extremely enjoyable occasions and anybody who was at Birmingham City’s 2-1 away victory against FC Bruges will never forget the last minute winner courtesy of Chris Wood.
Hughton began to slowly blood some of the youngsters at the club with Nathan Redmond and Jordon Mutch benefitting greatly. He also got the very best out of seasoned and experienced players like Chris Burke and Curtis Davies.
Unfortunately the season was just too long and the 62nd and final match of the campaign against Blackpool in the play-off semi finals proved to be one hurdle too far.
During the season Chris Hughton had at all times acted with a great amount of dignity and despite all the problems surrounding the football club focused one hundred per cent on footballing matters.
In conclusion, I feel Birmingham City made some considerable steps forward on the football pitch during the last twelve months under Hughton and the 7th June 2012 marked a huge leap backwards for the club.
I fear that Blues may well spend a few seasons in limbo at best following Hughton’s departure, whilst I can see him having a successful and rewarding spell at Carrow Road.
I would like to wish Chris Hughton all the very best for the future and thank him for some great memories watching Birmingham City over the last twelve months.
Once again thanks Chris, we hope that your club finds a suitable replacement and that success you had can be built on.
You can find Chris at the following: